Travelling with Cloth - Embrace the flat
This week we have another guest blogger, Keryn! She is one of our lovely brand reps and she recently went on holiday with cloth nappies in Australia. She gave flat nappies a go for the first time and I think it would be an understatement to say she's sold on them. So in defence of traditional cloth nappies, I present... Keryn!
Old-fashioned terry flat nappies have a reputation for being bulky, tricky, time-consuming and hard to wash; but this reputation couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, it’s quite the other way! So much so, that using them while away on holidays is more than achievable and surprisingly easy!
Using cloth nappies while away on holiday is often faced with resistance, hesitation and worry that it will turn into a disaster and you’ll spend your whole holiday washing nappies. Here are 6 tips to ensure your holiday isn’t spent inside a laundry!
6 tips to not spend your holiday in the hotel laundry
1. Use terry flat nappies!
Good quality terry flat nappies, such as Bubblebubs Bamboo Terry Flats ensure the nappy is absorbent, trim and easy to dry. Flat nappies are only made of one layer of fabric. This allows them to wash easily and dry quickly. Bamboo fabrics have a higher absorbency than 100% cotton, allowing them to fit very trimly (and pack down relatively small in your suitcase). As well as the absorbent flat nappy, you will also need: covers (PUL is the best for travelling, as it is forgiving to compression leaks, washes very easily and dries quickly); Snappis (will easily pass through airport security and are quick to fit); and boosting for night (prefold, muslin flat, booster or night booster set).
2. Do a trial run
For a week or so before you leave start playing with your flats, testing out different folds and seeing what works for you. This will help iron out any issues you may have such as different folds; how to boost correctly for night nappies (it’s probably less than you think!); how many nappies/covers/boosters you will need (keep a record and take the average number of nappies for your planned wash cycle. Approximately 2-3 days works best.), and you can practice using flats out and about (no different to usual MCN).
3. Plan for the last wash
Make a plan for when you will do your last wash at home. You will most likely have to take a few dirty nappies with you when you leave. But try to plan your last wash as close to your leaving time as possible. Hang all the clean, wet nappies on airer inside or around on furniture. That way they'll dry while you're away but not be left outside for a week. 😂 For any remaining dirty nappies, do a pre-wash or thorough hand wash and spin or wring out as much water as possible. Then double wet bag until you reach your destination.
As well as nappies you will also need to pack some cloth nappy accessories. A couple of XL wet bags can be used to store prewashed nappies and clean nappies. Regular wet bags could work too depending on how often you wash and you will also need regular wet bags for days out. And finally your ‘cleaning kit’: Something for poo removal (a knife or spatula and a rubber bristled brush), gloves and a small amount of laundry detergent. A bar of Sunlight soap, Sard Wonder Stick or Sard Wonder Soap wouldn't go astray either.
In your hotel room do the equivalent of a prewash. Remove poo using your chosen method - showerhead, bidet, poo knife/spatula/brush or dunk and flush to remove solids. Then in the sink or shower give each nappy a thorough warm to hot rinse with a little detergent and then with plain warm water. Finally, if you're worried about your covers as the PUL can be damaged by high heat (and they also dry very quickly), you can wash them in your hotel room rather than using a laundry service or Laundromat.
For the main wash, if you can, choose the hottest, longest wash (ensure any clothing you put in will hold up to the temperature you select).
6. Don't stress
Using unfamiliar machines and detergents isn’t ideal. However, just for a few days or weeks, the nappies will be fine. Especially with nappies as forgiving as flats. They're durable and because they're a single-layer they are easier to clean. Don’t stress if the wash routine isn’t exactly as you would do at home. When you get home do your usual washing routine on a hot setting and add some stain remover if needed. Two long, hot main washes would be a good idea if you're concerned at all.
I have travelled for a week using flats for day and night full time. A few extra minutes washing the nappies in our room was no trouble and was already part of my daily routine. And washing – well travelling with a baby, you’ll need to wash regularly - cloth nappies or not! However, by using flats, they will wash and dry in no time, leaving plenty of holiday to kick back and enjoy!
If you'd like to see more gorgeous photos by Keryn check out her Instagram.